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Book Programs

Ongoing Book Drive | Celebrations Book Baskets | Project Cicero

CFC’s book programs, including its Ongoing Book Drive and partnership in Project Cicero®, help fill classroom needs in schools and preschools serving under-resourced communities throughout New York City.  To date, these programs and Celebrations Book Baskets have helped place approximately 800,000 new and gently used books into classrooms and the hands of eager students.

Ongoing Book Drive

Call 212. 708.0200 to arrange to drop off new and gently used children's books at 6 East 43rd Street, clearly marked "Children for Children," along with your contact information. For school and larger drives, call CFC or email to make advance arrangements.


Celebrations Book BasketsSM

Celebrations Book BasketsSM philanthropic book centerpieces comprised of books “wished for” by a school, can add meaning to more formal celebrations or benefits.  CFC has teamed up with Story Time BasketsSM to offer these attractive book arrangements that can be donated to the school when the party is over.  CFC collects the wish lists.  Story Time prepares and sells the arrangements. Call 718.465.3365 or visit for more information or to place an order.  A portion of the proceeds supports Children for Children. 


Project Cicero
Serve as a Project Cicero School Representative and/or Volunteer the first week in March. Project Cicero, the annual citywide drive co-founded by CFC with The New York Society Library and other NYC partners, collected and distributed more than 100,000 new and gently used books in 2006. More information »


Project Cicero

"A room without books is a body without a soul."- Marcus Tullius Cicero. Children for Children is proud to be a founding partner of PROJECT CICERO, an exciting project that brings together various organizations throughout the city to promote children’s libraries.

What Is Project Cicero?

Project Cicero is a New York City partnership of several organizations, including The New York Society Library, Children for Children, Teach For America New York, New York City Teaching Fellows, HELP USA, Choice Courier Systems, Inc. and Building Maintenance Service LLC in association with New York independent, public and parochial schools. The primary goal of Project Cicero is to supplement or create classroom libraries for children in under-resourced New York City public schools through an annual citywide book drive. Secondarily, Project Cicero seeks to get books into homeless shelters, juvenile detention facilities, community centers, pediatric hospital units and wherever else there is a need. In 2006, its fourth year of operation, nearly 100,000 books were collected and distributed to over 900 teachers creating hundreds of classroom libraries, as well as other community groups.

Why Is It Called Project Cicero?

Project Cicero is named in honor of the Roman writer, statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived in the first century B.C. A distinguished man of letters, Cicero was known for the creation of the magnificent libraries that he compiled with great care and attention in each of his seven villas. He nurtured and shared his love of literature with others just as Project Cicero seeks to do.


Who Are The Project Cicero Partners?

The New York Society Library

Founded in 1754, The New York Society Library is the oldest Library in New York and is open to all for reading and reference with circulation by subscription. The Library has a commitment to literacy and has active public school-based education and community outreach programs throughout New York City.

Children for Children Foundation

Founded in 1996, CFC empowers young people and families to Grow Involved by volunteering their time and resources to benefit youth and others, with a particular focus on providing critical materials and service to NYC schools serving under-resourced communities.

Teach For America New York

Teach For America is a national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools. Currently, more than 200 corps members are teaching in 60 New York schools and impacting over 9,000 students each day.

New York City Teaching Fellows

New York City Teaching Fellows enables outstanding graduates and professionals to join a highly selective program dedicated to raising student achievement in New York City's under-performing public schools. Teaching Fellows use their diverse experiences, knowledge and prior achievements to positively affect the lives of the City's students.


Project Renewal

A non-profit, rehabilitation shelter, Project Renewal provides man power for the pick up and delivery of books.

New York Post

The New York Post provided trucks and drivers to help pick up and deliver thousands of books. The Post is also very active and supportive in collecting books and helping to promote Project Cicero.


Founded in 1986, the mission of HELP USA is to help the homeless and others in need become and remain self-reliant. Programs and services include adult education and literacy, as well as providing needs to day care and community centers.

Building Maintenance Service LLC

Building Maintenance Service LLC provides book boxes.

Vornado Realty Trust

Vornado Realty Trust provides a hotel ballroom to hold the book drive.

Additionally, in 2006, donations of books were received from various publishers including Agora Publications, Inc., Candlewick Press, Clarion Books, Harcourt Trade Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers, Lee & Low Books, Oxford University Press, Inc., Random House Children's Books, Scholastic, Inc., Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Are Children Involved In Project Cicero?

Yes. The 2006 Co-Chairs of the student schooliInitiative were Tory Edelman from Trinity, Claudia Gelfond from Dalton, Allison Koslow from Spence, Lily Newman from Fieldston, and Elyssa Spitzer from Horace Mann. Each participating school appoints Student Representatives to work with the Co-Chairs.


What Kinds Of Books Does Project Cicero Accept?

Project Cicero collects new and gently used books, both hardcover and paperback, for children and young adults. Used books must be in excellent condition. Children's books are needed from simple preschool picture books to teenage fiction. Non-fiction books, especially biographies, are most welcome. Reference material includes atlases, dictionaries and yearbooks (not more than three years old).

How Can I Become Involved?

Please call CFC or the Special Events office of The New York Society Library at 212.717.0357 and indicate that you would like to become involved.

My School Wants To Participate. What Happens Now?

If your school was not involved last year, it may be because there was no parent or child in the school to help organize it. Call the PROJECT CICERO phone line at The New York Society Library 212.288.6900 x511 or write PROJECT CICERO at 53 East 79th Street, NY, NY 10021; give your name, your phone number and the name of your school. Each participating school is asked to appoint one or more students and one parent or faculty member to coordinate the drive. These individuals will be invited to an organizational reception at The New York Society Library. They will receive information and flyers, as well as meet the representatives from the other schools.

I Know Of A Really Worthy Place That Needs Books. What Do I Do?

Send a letter with your recommendation and a brief description of the proposed recipient to:
53 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10021

For More Information

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"At my party, I asked all my friends and family to bring books, and we gave them all to CFC to help a school that needed books."

David, age 9

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Make an online donation for CFC's programs and initiatives. Learn More »

"Your kindness and generosity encourage me to keep fighting for educational equity here in New York City. Last year, my students struggled through the year without any textbooks or calculators. However, this year we will be able to offer them both! It is truly a blessing to receive these materials."

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"My goodness, I'm speechless right now. I'm sitting in the Teacher's workroom at IS 218 writing this message, and all I want to do is run around the halls like it's Christmas day, telling everyone what a wonderful, generous, beneficent organization Children for Children truly is. Thank you so much."

Christian Clarke, 8th Grade, IS 218 Brooklyn